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Bumble Bee’s Puerto Rico Plant On Auction Block United States, August 8, 12

Bumble Bee Foods is putting its Puerto Rico property and equipment on the auction block after pulling the plug on its local packing operation earlier this year.

Heritage Global Partners will conduct a bulk and piecemeal auction of the Mayagüez waterfront industrial real estate and plant equipment. The sale will be conducted via telephone and online.

The sale of Bumble Bee’s property (including a 174,000 square-foot enclosed structure), in addition to select pieces of surplus production and facilities support equipment, will take place for pre-approved parties on Sept. 12 from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. A second global online piecemeal auction will occur from Sept. 12 (8 a.m.) until September 13 (10 a.m.).

Bumble Bee will determine which bids are accepted following its piecemeal sale. Prospective bidders are encouraged to preview the Mayagüez site on Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or further in advance by appointment.

All prospective bulk auction bidders are required to wire transfer USD 250,000 to participate. All deposits are fully refundable at the conclusion of the auction to non-winning bidders. There is no deposit required for participants in the online piecemeal auction.

“Our upcoming auction of Bumble Bee’s extensive assets, including prime waterfront real estate, offers an excellent opportunity for companies in food and general manufacturing not only to acquire state-of-the-industry equipment but also to quickly relocate to an existing facility located in Puerto Rico,” said Heritage Global Partners Vice President George Wandachowicz.

Heritage Global Partners, a global leader in asset advisory and auction services, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Counsel RB Capital.

Bumble Bee announced in May the closure of its Mayagüez facility as the island’s once-mighty tuna packing industry runs dry. The plant had been in operation since the early 1960s and employed some 180 people when the shutdown was announced.

San Diego, California-based Bumble Bee cut 120 jobs at its tuna packing last year and reduced its production schedule by one shift. A plan to add a new line in the future that would help offset the layoffs wasn’t implemented.

Western Puerto Rico was once a major hub of tuna packing but very little remains of a local industry undone by intense competition from overseas competitors with lower labor and production costs.

Bumble Bee said it remained as long is it did thanks in part to tax and labor incentives from Puerto Rico’s government.